One can experience burnout in almost any aspect of life. This is particularly the case with routine and rigorous exercise. After a few months, you lose inspiration. Burnout is also possible when work hours cut into rest and relaxation time.
Prolonged emotional exposure to stressors on the job breaks down into three categories: cynical attitude, overall exhaustion, and overall ineffectiveness. These results are based on an Annual Review of Psychology Study; however, it brings about a new perspective. The light at the end of a drab tunnel is that the study concludes, the most hopeful outcome of a burnout experience “promises to yield new perspectives on interventions to alleviate burnout.”
The 5 Symptoms of Burnout
Studies provide the five basic areas to watch for when identifying symptoms of burnout:
This means lack of energy or ability to continue to do normal everyday activity because it all seems like a big task.
When physical energy depletes, and your mood also plummets. Suddenly, you might lack the motivation or drive to do the activities you once loved.
Your behavior obviously reflects your physical well being and emotional state. If you do not have the energy to physically exercise as you should, you will not do anything you are not emotionally motivated to do.
When you emotionally feel shut down, you are also feeling physically burned out as well. This is when you want to isolate yourself or put in extra hours at work just to avoid social interaction.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
“Here is the definition of attitudinal: relating to, based on, or expressive of personal attitudes.”
Attitudinal behavior reflects how our disposition affects those around us, regardless of persona or professional life. We can have a bad attitude, and that can infect every part of our lives. A bad attitude can taint our professional lives in the way that we interact with our co-workers or business associates. However, a bad attitude can strain personal life at home as well.
Even psychotherapist report feeling stressed out. Those that had a higher caseload experienced more trauma. In general, emotional fatigue is one key ingredient that indicates a burnout is either present or on its way. The less one feels they have control or flexibility with an outcome or decision-making, experts say, the easier it might be to feel energetic rather than emotionally taxed. Lack of control over outcomes, circumstances, and situations can tend to wreak havoc on our nerves thus increasing anxiety.
Definition of Emotional Burnout
An article in the Psychology and Health Journal on perceived control and the correlation with depression explains:
“The term “burnout” refers to a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur in human service professionals. There are now over 2,000 publications on the topic. This paper reviews a subset of the literature concerned with burnout, depressive symptomatology, and perceptions of job control. It appears that the first two constructs share appreciable variance but are not isomorphic. Research also indicates that the development of burnout has a modest association with perceptions of job uncontrollability (i.e., perceived lack of autonomy and little decisional latitude).”
Can Exercise Prevent Burnout?
There are various types of burnout, including exercise fatigue. It might not be that you are indifferent but maxed yourself out too quickly. Life is what they call a marathon and not a sprint. However, some exercise is better than too much or not enough. A 12-week exercise pilot study conducted by Bio Med Central (BMC) determined that: “The present pilot study delivered preliminary evidence that exercise reduces perceived stress among participants suffering from burnout, and prevents them from developing a deeper depression.”
Does Passion Make A Difference?
Passion plays a big role in whether or not someone experiences a burnout. Without passion for what we do, burnout in career and/or caring for our children can happen. We can be drained doing anything too much or too extreme unless we absolutely love what we do. Hence, passion makes a big difference between those that cannot continue and those that can run on 4 hours of sleep and get up a do it all over again. In fact, in studying college students that are either motivated or experience burnout from studying, the Educational Psychology Journal came to a simple conclusion. The research found that passion is the key ingredient to avoid burnout:
“The findings suggest that passion for studying explains individual differences in students’ academic engagement and burnout beyond autonomous and controlled motivation and thus deserves more attention
Importance of Self-Care
In conclusion: Not only does passion for what you do help in reducing burnout, but also self-care and compassion. Because caring for our own mind, body, and spirit is our responsibility. We cannot expect others to provide personal self-care and love we should be giving to ourselves. The Journal of Social Work in End of Life & Palliative Care sums up how to avoid burnout while examining hospice professionals:
“Thirty-seven HCPs were surveyed regarding their levels of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout. Respondents also reported the types of self-care activities in which they took part. Results indicated a relationship between self-care strategies and lower levels of burnout and compassion fatigue, and higher levels of compassion satisfaction.”
Proper Rest & Relaxation
What is crucial is scheduling and sticking to a 2-day rest break from your exercise routine. It is also helpful to understand that exercise helps reduce burnout in both your professional and personal life. Most importantly, listen to your body and get on an adequate sleep schedule. Above all, be present with loved ones on your off days because nothing is more important than living a healthy, balanced life.